Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Section: 32
Hours: 7

Today was a perfect day for painting. The sky was blue, there was no wind and the temperatures this afternoon were in the mid 70's. I moved the fuselage out of the garage onto the driveway and finished prepping for painting in the morning. I rubbed all the primer down with maroon scotch brite pads. A couple rough areas I sanded down with 320 grit sand paper. Then I vacuumed up all the dust and blew all the surfaces with compressed air. I used lint free rags lightly wetted with 90% rubbing alcohol to wipe down all the surfaces to get rid of any remaining dust and debris. Then I poured out 5 oz. of EkoCrylic, catalyzed it, waited 10 minutes and then diluted it with water.

I set the air pressure down to 20-25 psi and set up the gun to put out a light mist and went to work. It turns out that painting the interior is a rather complicated spraying job. There are a lot of nooks and crannies to get into and it is difficult to get the gun into position without dragging the hose through wet paint. I was able to apply 2 fog coats to the entire cockpit area with the initial batch of paint.

I then mixed up another 5 oz. of EkoCrylic and started the wet coat. I cracked the paint flow nob on the gun about 3/4 turn from what I used for the fog coats. I ran out of paint about half way though wet coating and had to mix up another 5 oz. The paint ran in a couple places because I couldn't see how much paint was going on under the arm rest and behind some of the structural pieces. I wiped up the runs and shot some more paint over the areas and it cleaned up nicely.

This was a much more complicated painting job than any that were demonstrated in the Stewart Systems videos because of painting inside all the tight areas. The paint turned out ok, but I wasn't able to achieve as smooth a finish as I did with the last 2 cover plates from a couple days ago. I wouldn't have been able to do the job without the rotisserie mount! The only way I could maneuver the hose and reach a lot of areas was to tilt the fuselage over 45 degrees to one side or the other.

I took the following couple pictures on the driveway just after the wet coat. The LPHV spray gun doesn't generate much overspray, the pavement was clean after I was done. Still, I'm glad I didn't have to paint inside the garage.

I moved the fuselage back into the garage and let the paint cure for a couple hours. After dinner I removed the masking. The paint was just a little soft and slightly tacky to the touch, but the masking came off easily leaving nice sharp lines where I used tape.

I used one quart of EkoCrylic "Dawn Patrol Gray" to paint all the parts shown below. I will have to order another quart to paint the roll bar, cabin rear closure and seat backs and any other parts yet to be added to the interior.

The learning curve to figure out how to apply the Stewart Systems EkoCrylic was way too steep and I was really afraid of messing up the cabin. I think the paint turned out fine and Debbie likes the color so all is good. Its a huge relief to get this major painting job done!

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